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American Medical Association Wokes Up, Cancels Terms Such as 'Morbidly Obese' and 'Inmates'

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For those of you who are morbidly obese, I have huge news: You’re not.

So says the American Medical Association.

Over the past few years, institutions have given syllables a shellacking.

Societal betters have overhauled language for the sake of us all.

Apropos of that mission, the AMA — along with the Association of American Medical Colleges — has published a brand new language guide.

The terrific title:

Advancing Health Equity: A Guide to Language, Narrative and Concept

The handbook’s Preamble speaks of scholarship:

The field of equity, like all other scholarly domains, has developed specific norms that convey authenticity, precision and meaning. Just as the general structure of a business document varies from that of a physics document, so too is the case with an equity document.

Now let’s talk thievery:

One example is the inclusion of a “Land and Labor Acknowledgement” like the one below. It is common that discussions in the field of equity begin with the recognition that our current state is built on the land and labor of others in ways that violated the fundamental principles of equity.

The AMA, leading by example:

Land and Labor Acknowledgement

The Association of American Medical Colleges’ headquarters is located in Washington, D.C., the traditional homelands of the Nacotchtank, Piscataway and Pamunkey people. The American Medical Association’s headquarters is located in the Chicago area on taken ancestral lands of indigenous tribes, such as the Council of the Three Fires, composed of the Ojibwe, Odawa and Potawatomi Nations, as well as the Miami, Ho-Chunk, Menominee, Sac, Fox, Kickapoo and Illinois Nations.


The AAMC and AMA also acknowledge the extraction of brilliance, energy and life for labor forced upon millions of people of African descent for more than 400 years.


We recognize the significant contributions that Native Americans/Indigenous peoples and people of African descent have made to this country, particularly to the fields of medicine and science. We celebrate the resilience and strength that all Indigenous people and descendants of Africa have shown in this country and worldwide. Their land, labor, bodies and minds—and those from other historically marginalized

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